Thursday, July 30, 2015

Apple Watch Review

For my 47th birthday, Chris convinced me I needed an Apple Watch.  He dragged me to the Apple Store and had me try on a watch and I begrudingly went through the tutorial.  By the end of the demo, I was pretty enamored and  acquiesced to the purchase.  Chris had his own motives for pushing the watch.  Let's just say, Father's Day was right around the corner.

I've had my watch for more than a month and have had plenty of time to explore its features and to get familiar with using it.  As with most everything with Apple, the  Apple Watch is not just a watch.  It really is a little computer you wear on your wrist which contains watch features.

The App I use the most, and has actually become a near obsession, is the activity tracker.  The activity tracker is a fitness feature which tracks your daily exercise, calories, and the number hours you stand up and engage in some kind of movement for at least 1 minute (a terrific element for those in fairly sedentary jobs).  In the 6 weeks I've had my watch, I've met or exceeded my three activity goals all but 9 days.  In the first two weeks, I was so caught up in meeting my goals, I would find myself running up and down the stairs at 10 pm just to get in those last few calories.  Thankfully, I started to relax a bit when I realized most days I exceed my goals, so it is quite all right to end a day here and there below target.  The main benefit is the new motivation to move and I'm seeing real results.

This is my activity calendar for July.  The target reflects three goals: red for calories, green for exercise, and blue for standing and moving for at least one minute each hour of the day.  Every goal is customizable and at the end of the week, iWatch will offer a suggested goal adjustment.

The second reason I've come to love my Watch is I am untethered from my phone.  I can receive my text messages and phone calls on my  Apple Watch and so my phone usually sits on a counter rather than in my hand all day. Which has eliminated many hours of mindless web and Facebook browsing on my phone.  Answering texts on my Watch is not always the best option as there are only a few key words or phrases, as well as the full gambit of emoticons, one can choose from for responding, but at least I can discern which texts need only a quick, abbreviated response, and which need more of a thought out longer response.

The Apple Watch is comfortable and I'm able to exercise, garden (I wear gloves which cover and protect the face and band), and do housework while wearing it.  It is water resistant to 10 meters, but I haven't tested that feature.  I own the least expensive Apple Watch Sport with an aluminum case, Ion X glass screen, and black sport band.  I intend to purchase a dressier band fairly soon. I'm just waiting to see some more variety before choosing.  Chris owns the straight up Apple Watch with the larger face, stainless steel case, Sapphire glass screen, and a sport band.  I have managed to scratch the face of my watch just a tad, but a disappointment, nevertheless.  Chris' has yet to scratch the Sapphire face of his and we anticipate his will continue to hold up, damage free.

What you can do with an Apple Watch: track activity, heart rate, and exercise;  receive text messages; respond to text messages with pre-set keywords or emoji;  make and answer phone calls; communicate via touch with other Apple Watch owners in your group;  receive notifications via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.; check weather; check email;  control music;  listen to music via bluetooth; browse photos; see time, date, stocks, etc.

What you can not do with an Apple Watch: write longer responses to text messages beyond the set keywords, phrases, and emoji; post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.; browse Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.; browse the internet, respond to email; take photos

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, July 23, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Sister Ollie Came to Town

Sister Olivia was able to come for a quick one week visit this week.  It was an unlooked for surprise and we were so happy to have her home, even if just for a few days.


The new photo for our vocations' board in our parish, as I had cut off Saint Joseph's head in her previous photo.  She wanted the mountains in the background this go-a-around.


One of Ollie's favorite meals is dry rubbed and grilled ribs.


Olivia was doing her best Benedict Cumberbatch imitation for the Mamarazzi (see the napkin over her face).  Seriously, this family cannot take a good photo.  Why is that?


With Sister Olivia home, we took full advantage of her seamstress skills.  She helped her two younger sisters make elements of their cosplay costumes for Comic Con in September.  

She did a beautiful job putting together Angela's Tauriel cloak.

For more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} check out Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mediterranean Lamb Flatbread

Mediterranean Lamb Flatbread

Flatbread dough:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
2 1/4 tsp active yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil

In the bowl of a standing mixer stir together all the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl combine warm water, yeast, and honey and stir to dissolve the yeast.  Let set for 10 minutes until foamy and pour into dry ingredients.  With a dough hook, mix dough ingredients on low speed and slowly add the olive oil.  Mix to form a soft, elastic dough.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour.  Meanwhile, preheat a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven for at least 1/2 an hour. Divide the dough into two even pieces and roll into balls.  On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball into an oblong flatbread about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.  Dust a pizza peel with corn meal, place rolled out dough on top, and brush it with a little olive oil.

2 tsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion; diced
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 1/2 pounds of ground lamb
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp salt 

1 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups shredded cheese (goat or sheep cheese would be most authentic I use pecorino Tuscano)
Rosemary sprigs

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, adding a pinch of salt to draw out the moisture.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add ground lamb and sauté until cooked through and no longer pink.  Add all the spices and continue cooking until fragrant and the mixture is evenly spiced.  Set aside.  Top rolled out dough with 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the lamb, 1/2 the pine nuts and a few small sprigs of Rosemary.   Gently slide flatbread onto preheated stone and bake for 10-20 minutes until the bread puffs and begins to color on the bottom.  Cool for 5 minutes and cut into rough rectangular pieces.

Sauté lamb until it is no longer pink

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium low heat.  Be very careful not to burn.

Tear small sprigs of Rosemary to scatter on the top of the other toppings

Finished Lamb Flatbread

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, July 20, 2015

Marriage Mondays

My dear friend, Sam, has begun a prayer campaign for traditional marriage.  She calls it Marriage Mondays.  To participate, one need only recite the Saint Michael prayer and make a small sacrifice or fast for the intention of strengthening traditional marriage.  Sam has enlisted our friends in Maryland and over Facebook.  I've passed this campaign on to my friends here in Utah, and they have passed it on to their friends and family.  Please join us and pass it on.  A nation uplifted in prayer for the traditional definition of marriage would be a wonderful thing.

Saint Michael Prayer

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thoughts on Obergefell

SCOTUS really took the sails out of June for me, but even more disheartening is the misunderstanding so many Americans have of the real meaning of marriage.  As one friend (Katherine) observed on Facebook, we have taken down three of the four pillars of marriage in the last 100 years: Fecundity was first when contraception became widely accepted and practiced after the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930; Permanence fell once no fault divorce became the norm rather than the exception; and then Complementarity/heterosexual union. With the Obergefell ruling, gay marriage has not only become legal in all 50 States, it is mandated.  The only pillar left standing is Monogamy and there have already been polygamous licenses applied for in Montana.  How long before the final pillar falls? Not long at all, in my opinion.  We are now living in a time when marriage means nothing and we will continue to see the decline in marriage and the destruction of the family as the years roll by.  Unfortunately, those who will suffer the most will be children.

Three of the largest mainline Christian denominations have made getting married as a gay couple in their churches a reality, showing even within the Christian community a very deep division and departure from authentic Christian teaching on marriage and morality.  As for the Catholic Church, I firmly believe we are safe, for now.  The Catholic Church already denies marriage within the Church to couples who are not Catholic, who have been divorced, etc. She will not be compelled to marry gay couples, but I am sure she will be punished for her non-compliance.

I've read so many wonderful reflections on Obergefell, I really have nothing more to add myself, but if you are interested in reading what the "smart" people are saying here are several links to brilliant pieces.

Matt Walsh has actually written several pieces since Obergefell, but this one is probably the most persuasive article regarding how the ruling does indeed harm people like me personally: Yes, Gay Marriage Hurts Me Personally

Aleteia has a great article regarding getting the conversation right about gay marriage.  Rather than focusing on the sinfulness/morality of homosexual marriage, it points out the real dangers to children raised in gay households: Gay Marriage: Getting the Conversation Right is More Important Than Ever

First Things asked the question of several members of their symposium, "Where to from here?" in this article: After Obergefell

This final piece by Adam Freedman lays out how the Obergefell ruling threatens opposing Christians: Obergefell's Threat to Religious Liberty

As the celebration of Independence Day approaches, I pray for our country.  I pray she might restore our God given rights to practice and live our Faith freely without fear of persecution.  May God Bless America. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, July 2, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} July 2


Dramatic sky


Birthday-palooza came to a close with this little guy turning 9.  Can you believe it? 9!


"You lookin' at me?!"

The chickens really are quite funny.  They love their perch, but usually I find them all crowded together in one little corner.

They aren't quite sure what to think of me with my camera.


Ben asked for a pistol style BB gun for his birthday.  That thing is dangerous!  It can easily put a hole in a tin can.  We keep it locked up and they are only allowed to shoot with Dad.  We thought it was a good idea to teach them gun safety and how to use a gun with the BB gun first.  After a few lessons, we've come to realize we are pretty wise.  It will be a loooooong time before the boys are ready to handle something more powerful.

Ben has had the most trouble deciding which hand to shoot with.  He writes with his right hand, but does almost everything else better with his left hand.  It has caused him a lot of confusion when trying to shoot properly.  

Leo loves shooting with Dad's help.

and he is pretty good about following all the safety rules.

Safety first, always! 'Merica!

For more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} check out Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Print Friendly and PDF